Traditionally, Sales and Marketing operated separately, each with its own leadership, processes, and systems. Marketing’s domain is ensuring broad brand awareness and bringing in qualified leads, while Sales concentrated on closing deals. However, the modern B2B buying process has evolved, with buyers conducting extensive online research before they decide to contact the sales rep directly.
This independent familiarization with available offers and value assessment necessitates a coordinated approach to captivate customers’ attention, nurture leads, and cultivate relationships. Unfortunately, many companies still maintain disconnected Sales and Marketing processes, leading to customer confusion and frustration.
How Bad Sales and Marketing Misalignment Impacts Business Growth?
The consequences of Sales and Marketing misalignment are significant, leading to substantial revenue losses and hindered growth. Research reveals that businesses suffering from poor alignment experience 18% lower customer retention rates and a 38% decrease in sales win rates. Today, customers traverse multiple channels and touchpoints, demanding a seamless experience across sales, marketing, and service teams.
Furthermore, this lack of alignment diminishes visibility into the customer journey, hindering the ability to gauge Marketing’s impact on revenue or Sales’ influence on customer retention. The absence of shared data and insights hampers ongoing optimization and growth efforts. Therefore, businesses need an account-based approach and innovative B2B demand generation tactics to stay ahead of their competition.
An Account-Based Approach: Identifying and Prioritizing High-Value Accounts
To enhance B2B demand generation, sales and marketing must unite in targeting the most crucial accounts instead of adopting a broad approach.
1. Analyze your account data to identify an ideal customer profile (ICP). You must build a qualified audience of best-fit accounts based on factors like industry, company size, location, and technology usage. Evaluate which accounts contribute the most revenue and boast high customer lifetime value to define your ICP collaboratively.
2. Once the ICP is established, assess your existing accounts against it to pinpoint high-priority target accounts that closely align with ICP marketing goals and offer scalable growth potential. Also, set ICP match as an imperative criterion for acquiring new accounts.
3. Make sure your salespeople and marketers fully agree on a shared list of target accounts and can sync their demand-generation efforts. Also, ensure total buy-in from key stakeholders on the idea of cross-selling and upselling for existing accounts. Coordinate targeted advertising, content marketing, and sales outreach for new accounts.
An account-based approach enables scalable personalization. Leverage marketing automation and AI to customize content and messaging for individual accounts and key contacts. For example, send account-specific emails highlighting relevant use cases and solutions.
Shared Tools and Metrics: Enhancing Collaboration Through Data
Both teams must operate based on the same data and metrics for genuine alignment between sales and marketing. Utilizing shared tools establishes a single source of truth regarding accounts, leads, opportunities, and customer interactions.
Marketing and sales teams should have equal access to customer data available in:
- Marketing automation systems (Hubspot Marketing Hub, Marketo, Mailchimp, etc.)
- CRM platforms (Salesforce, Salesloft, Saleshandy, or similar)
- Sales engagement platforms (Clearbit, Zendesk Sell, G2, and more).
What Martech to Share for Instant Data Updates?
CRM platforms offer both teams a comprehensive view of accounts and prospect interactions throughout the customer journey. This visibility enables improved coordination of targeted outreach and personalized messaging. Marketing can identify effective content and topics for specific accounts, refining b2b lead nurturing campaigns. Sales gain insights into the marketing campaign and content performance, aiding in follow-up prioritization.
Marketing automation systems help to identify marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) that sales reps can contact right away with tailored sales proposals. Marketers typically use lead scoring to detect high-quality, sales-ready leads and instruct salespeople on how exactly they should nurture MQLs.
Sales engagement platforms assist with automating prospecting and outreach, boosting pipeline velocity and win rates. Marketers can align demand-generation campaigns with sales messaging once they access sales cadences, email templates, and call scripts.
How to Collaborate in Metric Reviews?
Beyond tools, shared metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) unite teams around common objectives and facilitate initiative assessment. For instance, Marketing may track lead volume, cost per lead, and lead conversion rates, while sales monitor sales qualified leads (SQLs), opportunities, pipeline velocity, and win rates. Collaborative metric reviews pinpoint gaps and ensure both teams concentrate on high-impact activities.
Shared data-driven insights enable productive discussions between sales and marketing regarding successes, challenges, and enhancement opportunities. Regular meetings to assess metrics, exchange feedback, and brainstorm new experiments dismantle operational silos and nurture a culture of openness and collaboration. Over time, this data-driven strategy fuels continuous optimization, enabling sales and marketing to operate as a fully integrated team.
Sustaining Sales and Marketing Alignment for Long-Term Success
Aligning sales and marketing teams is an ongoing endeavor, not a one-timer. The only way to yield optimal outcomes regularly is to assess and enhance collaboration systematically. You must re-adapt collaborative tactics according to customer requirements, innovations, and competitors’ evolution.
Start by examining metrics like revenue growth, win rates, customer retention, and customer satisfaction to identify practices that worked best over time and areas requiring enhancement. For the latter, revise your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and demand generation campaigns, making necessary adjustments. Decide whether you need to expand or shift target accounts and personas or revitalize content and advertising approaches.
Executive support matters a lot for continuous improvement. Leaders should regularly assess the state of sales and marketing alignment and check whether teams have every resource to maintain ongoing collaboration. They must also link alignment objectives and metrics to performance evaluations and incentives, holding teams accountable for progress.